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“Wonderful retreat in Taranguire”
Review of Sanctuary Swala

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Sanctuary Swala
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2012

We stayed at Swala in July with our three sons ages 9, 11, 12. We had a great experience here with outstanding service from the owners and wait staff. Our children particularly loved the impalas, waterbuck, and monkeys which scampered throughout the camp and we all enjoyed watching the zebras come to the water hole in the evening. We missed the elephants, but apparently they came in the early afternoon while we were still on our game drive. Our boys loved the fact that we had guards at night around the camp to keep us from getting attacked by predators and I found this reassuring. I agree completely with the review below by Wanderlust as this person describes the camp in good detail. I would recommend this property highly as it is such a unique experience with a high level of service.

Room Tip: Any room looked good to me!
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank dgibson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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152 - 158 of 232 reviews

Reviewed June 4, 2012

We stayed here as part of an Abercrombie & Kent safari to Tanzania. Our tent was luxurious. Monkeys, impalas and more roamed outside our deck. Staff was super friendly and helpful. Dining on terrace was outstanding.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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Thank GoWithGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2012

We stayed at Swala Camp for two nights in March and were impressed with the level of service and comfort that one can find in the African bush. Situated on the west side of Gursi Swamp in the southwestern part of Tarangire NP, Swala is located in a remote and quiet section of the park where every tent and the main lodge have a panoramic view of the woodlands, savannah, enormous baobab trees, watering hole, monkeys, impalas, dik diks, and other wild creatures that come in and out of camp at will. Our daughter enjoyed the beautiful small swimming pool which overlooks the watering hole.

Husband and wife team Liz and Garth manage the camp very skillfully and took great care of us during our 2 night stay. Our Tent #8 was gorgeous - for hubby and me, 2 twin beds widely spaced (that can be joined) with an enormous elegant mosquito net thrown over both. Teen daughter had a third twin bed with a princess net. There was a writing desk with chair and two upholstered chairs, a lovely bathroom with double sinks, flushing toilet, indoor and outdoor showers, and lots of storage space. Lighting was very good. Our huge verandah with tables and chairs overlooked an open woodland filled with vervet monkeys and impala day and night.

The road to camp runs through a woodland that, in March, had tsetse flies (roll up the windows and you will be fine), and there were absolutely no flies in camp (or mosquitoes, for that matter). There is wifi and slow internet service and a lovely shop filled with jewelry and craft items made by local ladies.

Food was outstanding - as good as bush food can possibly be - lots of wine and outstanding service. All drinks and laundry are included in the cost. We sat in the open air dining room both nights with solicitous service from the staff and on the verandah for breakfast where the hornbills kept us entertained with their antics. For our day drive, the camp staff packed us an enormous picnic hamper filled with delicious food, beer and soda.

Perhaps the loveliest part of all was the sound of the wildness around us. We could hear lions at night. And the birdsong at sunrise of many different varieties of birds is a lasting memory from this beautiful place.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank wanderlust1129
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2012

We spent only one night in Swala Tent Camp, but it was wonderful. From the time we were greeted at the entrance to the time we departed, we were pampered. The service was superb. We loved our room, complete with indoor and outdoor shower and large bed. It is remote and very quiet at night. All meals and alcohol was provided. They even have wifi and a guest computer! Location is on the edge of the swamp and we were surrounded by a herd of Impala, monkeys, and water buck the whole time we were there. Just wonderful.

Room Tip: All rooms appear to be equally good. The walks are along dirt paths and if you have difficulty walk...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank bikehog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 10, 2012

we were on Safari in 3 different places in Tansania and the first one was the Swala Camp.
A 2.5h drive from Arusha but it does have its own airfield about 1h away from the camp.
The NP roads are very bumpy and the road to the camp is always the same for 45min.
We had the tent No. 10, the last one before the bush, quiet and very private.
The interior offers all required details but has a limitation on the electrical use, the manager did advise on the times. No wifi or Telefon but a walky-talky for emergencies in the room.
In January was the tse-tse fly season and boy, there are plenty which want your blood.
Pls note that a swamp is near by the camp which attracts them.
The landscape was beautiful with the akazia- and baobab trees and birds which were watching us at breakfast time.
Our 2 nights stay was enhanced by rain during the night which sounds very heavy in the tent and we wondered how the road will be, lots of water in the holes and some slippery parts but in general better then expected.
The pool is small but has a great view, the food is good but too large portions. Sometimes our requests got forgotten e.g. could we have some coke for the game drive etc.
Small things but ......

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank R113
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2012

Can't say enough good things about our experience here. We did a 2 week tour of Tanzania and Kenya and this place was the top drawer. The tents and ambience of the place are unmatched. They find that perfect mix between luxury and authenticity. The staff was great and we loved dining at the communal table.

  • Stayed: February 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jason O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2011

We stayed at Swala for 3 nights - it is really well worth staying a day extra just to enjoy the wonderful African experience. We did a game drive into the camp on the first day. The following day we did 2 more drives ( including a sundowner drive) and on the final day we relaxed at the pool and on the deck of our fabulous tent. The food is exceptional - full breakfasts and home made bread, lunches of salads and chilled soup, 4 course dinners and cheese boards after snacks and cocktails around the camp fire.....who could ask for anything more. The staff, from Liz and Garth, Raymond and all the waiters and askaris at night time, are courteous and helpful, the tents are just amazing and the wildlife is plentiful. There is a very reasonably priced gift shop and there is a computer for guests internet use. The are indoor and outdoor showers in the tents, radio contact at night time, lovely toiletries, beautiful white furnishings, its really magical. Really excellent, enjoyable and memorable stay.

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank EntebbeEastafrican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sanctuary Swala

Address: P.O. Box 427 | Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Phone Number:
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Tarangire National Park
Amenities:
Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Tarangire National Park
Price Range: $726 - $1,461 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Sanctuary Swala 4*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The main area is situated right under a big baobab tree, a common sight in these parts of Tanzania. The dining area, lounge, deck and small library all feature a chic, contemporary African design with a traditional thatched roof. This main area is lifted on stilts allowing a wide view of the grasslands of the Tarangire right in front of the camp. The stunning infinity pool overlooks the nearby waterhole often visited by elephants as well as the big cats that are often seen. The relaxing pool area also provides the perfect place to sip a cocktail and cool down after a day of game viewing. Sanctuary Swala has been renovated to the highest eco- friendly standards and has a particularly low carbon footprint. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the main area and in guests' tents. Each of the twelve canvas pavilions is shaded by tall acacia trees and all are within sight of the well frequented water hole. They are unashamedly luxurious and exquisitely furnished but still close enough to nature to permit an exciting night under canvas. The tents feature a spacious open plan arrangement with comfortable king or twin beds, campaign chairs and plush sofas and boasts an ensuite bathroom with both indoor and outdoor shower for that extra bit of luxury. Sip cocktails or enjoy scrumptious dinners on your own private veranda and watch the waterhole which regularly draws lions, leopards and resident bull elephants while your own personal attendant caters for your every need. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in guests' tents. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Sanctuary Swala Hotel Tarangire National Park

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